Saturday, January 26, 2008

The Celebrity Gods

Recently a young actor died unexpectedly. And there's been nothing on the news since then, except for speculation about his life, death, funeral, private life, professional life, and it goes on and on. I know nothing about this young man. I don't watch television and rarely watch a movie, don't read magazines or the unending parade of articles on the internet. That isn't to say that his death doesn't sadden me. It does, just as the untimely death of any young person saddens me. That's why we say it was untimely.

The media circus doesn't surprise me. What does surprise me is the reactions of everyday people--people like you and me. Some grieve as though it was their best friend or neighbor or even a relative. Why is that? Why do we worship these men and women who've simply taken advantage of attractive arrangment of features given to them through the luck of the draw at birth? Why are we so fascinated by the individuals who've used their charisma and talent to get to the top?

I suppose it's a good thing for the Hollywood machine as they would be out of business if people quit buying into the fantasy. I still find it very puzzling. I can understand enjoying the talents of a singer or actor, but that's what I do--enjoy them. I rarely buy cds or dvds. I don't purchase concert tickets or movie tickets. I've been to three concerts in the last forty years. So I no doubt just don't get the whole celebrity thing.

For me, there are other people that I think are far more worthy of my respect and admiration.

People like the teachers that show up everyday and struggle to teach our kids while dealing with parents that refuse to support them and an administrative system that's designed to sabotage the teaching experience at every turn. They're my heroes.

Police officers in all their many incarnations who work holidays, snow days, weekends, and every day of the year to keep the peace in my town and yours. They work the vehicle accidents, fires, disasters, hurricanes, floods, domestic disputes, bank robberies, gang wars, drug wars, and every other kind of war in our country. They're my heroes.

Military personnel go everywhere in the world. They work ungodly hours even when they're on home turf. When they're not shoring up the peace somewhere else, they're busy practicing and training to shore up the peace. They're men and women, young and older, who are out there on the front lines not only defending our country, but representing our country all over the world. They're my heroes.

Medical personnel are there whenever you show up at the ER. Holidays, weekends, the middle of the night, whenever you have a medical emergency, there are doctors, nurses, technicians, lab workers, nurses aides, and custodial staff. They save lives. They comfort the families when it's impossible to save lives. They're my heroes.

Emergency workers, firemen, disaster workers, all those people who show up to fight a fire, dig through the rubble of an earthquake or explosion, wade through the floods and brave the hurricanes and tornadoes time after time. Nobody holds a weapon on them to make them show up. They're just there when they're needed. The vast majority of them are volunteers. Without them to direct the disaster relief efforts it would be up to you and me. When's the last time you fought a fire or rescued someone from a flood? They're my heroes.

For every volunteer out there, every man or woman who serves in the daily line of fire that real life is, this is for you. The Cub Scout and Brownie Leaders, the school volunteers, the foster parents, candy stripers, pink ladies, and the people who show up with coffee for the workers at disasters and fires all have my hearty thanks. You're my heroes.

Just once... just once I wish we would all stop with the celebrity worship long enough to teach our kids about the true heroes in our world. Everyday, somewhere in the United States a man or woman is honored for outstanding service or bravery. When's the last time you saw that on the news? When's the last time it made headlines? When's the last time you stood in line to catch a glimpse of a true hero? When's the last time you thanked a policeman or soldier or fireman or teacher for the fabulous work they do?

Let us hear it for the real celebrities.


Yesterday, Amarinda left me with Dr. Flugelheimer-Watts and Primrose Grimly...
“Hmmm, it’s not mine so that mean they must grow feet as a crop in these parts.”

Primrose rolled her eyes knew sock puppets had more intelligence. “Yes, that would be it.” Nitwit.

“Okay – onwards to this Dan Sandisco place to find Tortunga.” Dr Garth marched into the space ship.

Sigh. Dr. Flugelheimer-Watts. Well, this is where I went...
Primrose briefly considered the advantages of tossing Dr. Garth out of the space ship as they passed over the Grand Canyon. Who would miss him, after all? And besides it would take months to find him. But no… there was that debt of honor. Perhaps if they found Tortunga, that would cancel the debt, once and for all.

Primrose set the new coordinates for San Francisco and zoomed off to the west, leaving the cornfields and corpses behind just as Zoltan and Pete arrived.

Zoltan stared down at the bodies and sighed while Pete tossed his cookies in the next row over. “I see that Dr. Idiot Flugelheimer-Watts has been and gone.”

“Who?” demanded Pete as he wiped his mouth with the back of his hand.

Zoltan handed him a handkerchief. “Here. Don’t they make sure you have manners and social graces before they hand out the Armani suits?”


“Never mind. Dr. Idiot was definitely here. You can always tell because his crop circles are backwards. Everyone else makes their clock-wise, but he doesn’t get that. So his are always counter clock-wise.”

Pete wiped his face and hands and offered the hanky back to Zoltan. Zoltan waved it away. “No, no thanks. Toss it down there and we’ll burn it with the rest.”

Pete stared at the cornfields around them. “Burn? You want to start a fire out here? Are you insane?”

“Only a very small fire,” Zoltan explained impatiently. “Just enough to burn the bodies. And then we’ll be on our way to find Emmeline.” With that, he zapped a small flame at the center of the crop circle and stood back.

Suddenly, there was a pop, pop, popping sound. It picked up speed and volume as Zoltan grabbed Pete’s hand and began to run.

“What? What is it?” Pete yelled as he tried to keep up with Zoltan.

Check in with Amarinda. She might be back from her trip to the Fantasy Islands--or not. She's at and if she's not back, you can read yesterday's blog which explains Australia Day.

Then pop over to Kelly's Place where she's playing with ninjas. She's at And then Blessings on your day!


  1. Well said, as usual, Anny. I don't do much celebrity worship either. Hardly can put a name with a face if it comes to it.

  2. I know exactly who Heath Ledger was and saw him play in several movies. I liked his acting well enough. Amarinda would remind you he was an Aussie.

    But I'm with you, Anny. I don't understand the great weeping and mass devistation his death caused. He died. People die all the time. I have an acquaintance who has not stopped mourning him since. She said her birthday two days later was ruined because of her grief. I don't get it. Someone please explain??

  3. My sister echoes your sentiments on a regular basis, Anny.
    Another good blog.

  4. Great blog Anny. I saw Heath Ledger in Casanova, saw the movie twice and enjoyed it a lot. I said what a pity such a young and cute hunk, but like you it didn't disturb my day otherwise. Now let me tell you I cried when Princess Di died. It's just this feeling of unfairness, they had it all and lost it too soon.

  5. While I love going to movies and I do buy CD's of favorite musicians, I am at a loss to understand the obsession with celebrity gossip.

    They're people...talented people who share their gift with the world. I don't know them personally, and don't expect to.

    As a result, I'm not concerned with their sex life or where they shop. I feel bad for them. Most of them didn't sign up for this kind of scrutiny. They just wanted to be actors or musicians. The celebrity thing has gotten way out of control.

  6. I fell in love with Heath in the short-lived series 'Roar' and was thrilled when he did so well on the big screen. I, too cannot fathom the 'craziness' of fans, claiming their lives are forever ruined. Another celebrity will come along and take their place.

    Yes, I cried when Princess Di died, and I prayed for the boys who had their mother taken so tragectly (sp?) and publically.

    I'm with you Anny...too often our 'hometown heroes' get overlooked.

  7. *Hugs Anny*

    When I saw the news about Heath Ledger's I was saddened that such a young man had died so young, and leaving a small daughter to grow up knowing him only from the faded tabloid clippings, stories from family and friends and his films. Because they come into our living rooms I think many people tend to make the mistake of thinking they have a connection to the famous.

    But I also don't get the absolute adoration. It was the same when River Phoenix died. Crying girls lining the sidewalks, leaving teddy bears and flowers on the sidewalk where he died.

    When was the last time we saw that kind of outpouring over the death of a soldier? a police officer?

    As usual, Anny has it just right.

  8. People die, it's tragic for the families and other people should respect that however class is sadly lacking in our world